Stephen King Takes the Wheel

Maximum Overdrive is the first and thankfully only movie ever directed by Stephen King. The King of Horror should seriously stick to writing after this Razzie nominated stinker. Maximum Overdrive is based on King’s short story “Trucks” from the Night Shift collection. Admittedly the concept of technology becoming sentient and attacking humans has promise, but King goes for a bizarrely campy tone. Maximum Overdrive isn’t the least bit scary and the AC⚑DC soundtrack doesn’t help.

King only hired the band because he was a fan. Since the writer was either on drugs or drunk at the time, he vowed never to direct again. All of Earth’s machines come to life thanks to a comet that may or may not be caused by aliens. King himself cameos as a man that an ATM calls an a**hole. Pop machines, lawn mowers, arcades, and a ton of trucks all terrorize rednecks in a small town. Emilio Estevez plays the would-be hero Bill and Laura Harrington plays his hitchhiking love interest Brett.

Pat Hingle is the obnoxious truck stop owner Bubba. There’s also a little league player, a pair of newlyweds, and the usual overly hypocritical religious character. Pre-Lisa Simpson Yeardley Smith is particularly annoying with a Southern accent. Most of the trucks have no personality apart from a toy truck with a prominent Green Goblin head on it. Seeing the Spider-Man villain acknowledged in a 1986 horror movie is strange to say the least. Even stranger are the trucks deciding not to kill when they’re being fuelled up. Maximum Overdrive reaches maximum levels of stupidity.

Maximum Overdrive

The Green Goblin truck

8 thoughts on “Stephen King Takes the Wheel

  1. This is definitely one for the history books, even with it being so bad. Stephen King did admit years later he was high on drugs during the making of the movie, and for a good chunk of the decade as well, and sadly can’t remember writing some of his books like Cujo.

    Liked by 1 person

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